Saturday, January 30, 2016

Visiting Campus Faux Pas

Hi everyone and Happy Saturday! It has been a beautiful day today where I live, warm and sunny, so I spent the day visiting some colleges and taking some pictures and I can't wait to share them in some upcoming blog posts! But, today I wanted to talk to you about some of the "no-no's" of visiting and touring college campuses. I know that none of us try to overtly offend people when we travel to new places, but sometimes we do, so here are my list of some things we should steer clear of when visiting campuses.

1. Do not wear another college's outerwear - You probably don't think about it when you throw on that Penn State sweatshirt or wear a Michigan State hat, but it can put a bad taste in an Admissions Officer's mouth if they see you with another university's gear on. You may think nothing of it, but from an Admissions perspective, we see that you are not really invested in the campus tour because you are already supporting another college (possibly a rival).

2. Do not compare colleges while on campus - Again, you are probably not trying to offend, you're just trying to make judgements for yourself, but constantly saying College A did this, College B did that ... etc., can rub people the wrong way. As an Admissions employee, I know firsthand what other colleges in the area and what other 'like' universities have to offer that we don't, but being reminded of that constantly throughout the day does not make me want to work hard to please you and make your visit everything great. **When I was searching at colleges, I always made sure to be back in the car with my parents before I started giving my judgements on a university. Its okay to take mental or written note about the aspects of campus that do not fit your qualifications, but save them until after the tour.

3. Do not wait until the end of your tour to ask to see something - Always be up front with your tour guide about something you would like to see on campus; tell them right at the beginning of the tour so that they know. At my alma mater, the weight room/gym was not included on the tour because it was out of the way, but if visitors asked ahead of time, the tour guide could fit it into the schedule. So, if your tour guide knows beforehand, they are able to include it in the tour or take you at the end of the tour when the other families with you are done.

4. Do not be late - So, this is kind of an obvious one, but do your absolute best to not be late to Admissions events or to campus tours. These things normally run on a schedule and if there are other families ready to go out on a tour on time, they won't wait for you. Also, if you show up late to an Open House, there is a good chance you've already missed half of the presentations. In admissions, we do understand that things happen: traffic is bad, you missed a turn, your little sister got sick ... etc., but plan ahead so that you can arrive to campus with some time to spare!

5. Do not act uninterested - Obviously we don't expect you to jump up and down for joy when you come to campus, but don't have a frown on your face the whole time. Try to at least act interested and ask some questions. Usually you have a student tour guide, so use their experience as a student to learn more about the college. Ask them what their favorite part about living on campus is or how they stay connected to home while living somewhat far away. Tour guides and Admissions representatives put a lot of effort into their tours and feel disheartened when they feel like you don't care, so do your best to at least seem interested.

6. Do not spend time on your cell phone - When my sister and I were visiting colleges, cell phones were not as big of a deal as they are now, but still be respectful and keep your phone away throughout the day. If you're taking pictures of the campus and the things you see (NOT SELFIES), then that is fine, but don't be snapchatting and texting the whole time. This goes with #5, show your respect to those that have put the time in to make your visit extra special. Plus, if you are paying attention to your phone the whole time, you won't be able to learn about the campus and see if it actually fits all your needs!

This is NOT meant to deter you from visiting college campuses, it is more to just get you thinking about your college visits and what you should be projecting of yourself. You really want to make a great impression because Admissions counselors and tour guides really do remember you! If ya'll have any questions about other visiting faux pas or just general questions about visiting college campuses, feel free to comment or tweet me, I'd love to help!

enjoy the chase,

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Celebrating the 6 Month Blog-iversary

Hi everyone!! Today, Chasing College is celebrating its six month anniversary of being a blog! I can't believe it has already been six months, it feels like just yesterday I was sitting down writing that first blog post! I am so happy with how this blog has grown over the last six months and the amount of people who have been impacted by the blog posts! A few weeks ago, I asked you all to send me your questions for a Q&A session to get to know me a little better and so I made a video answering all of those questions! Here it is:

You can also view it on youtube at:

Thank you all so much for reading my different blog posts over these last six months and for sharing them with your family and friends. I have really enjoyed doing this and I hope I've been able to help you all through your college application and transition process.  Please comment below, e-mail me, or Tweet me with any questions you have, suggestions for blog posts, or advice that you are seeking. This blog is for you all, so whatever you have questions on about the college application and transition process, please let me know! I hope you all have a great week and I can't wait to see how else we can chase college in the next six months!!!

enjoy the chase,

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Choosing the Right Major

Hi everyone and Happy Sunday! I hope you all had a productive and relaxing weekend, whether you were snowed in or gallivanting around your city! I wanted to talk to you all today about the act of choosing the right major. This can be a big decision, so you should reflect on it for more than just a day or a couple of hours. Here are my suggestions on helping you find the perfect major for your college experience and future career!

First things first, most colleges and universities do not require you to declare a major until your Sophomore year, so you can very easily go into your college career as Undecided. It's important to remember though that certain pre-professional programs have a four-year sequence, so declaring that major later will cause you to be a year behind and thus spend an extra two semesters completing the degree requirements. Some examples of pre-professional programs include teacher education, nursing, and dental hygiene. Here are some ways though that you can determine what academic program to pursue!

1. If you think you are interested in majoring in Education, Nursing, or any other program with a four-year sequence, then declaring that when you apply to college will give you the chance to take their first-year courses and still take some general classes to see if you like it. **You can usually tell by that first clinical or teacher observation period whether you are in the right program. If you decide that the program is right for you, then stick with it. If you've decided not then you will be able to switch to a different major. You also won't be asking yourself 'what-if' if you hadn't declared to begin with.

2. Look through the university course catalog at each of the majors and just read through the different course descriptions. Highlight those courses that interest you and you wouldn't mind taking. Set the catalog aside for a day, and when you return make note of those majors that had the most highlighted courses in their section. You may not have realized that you were interested in a specific program because you didn't know the courses within it. So, use this to gauge where your academic interests lie, then take an elective in that program next semester and to test out the waters!

3. Reflect on the classes you took in high school and remember which ones you enjoyed the most; the subject matter not the teacher. I use this distinction because a lot of times we enjoyed a class because the teacher was humorous and made the time pass quickly, not because we had any interest in the course content. So, think back on the classes that you enjoyed studying for and liked doing the assigned projects. This can help you pick a concentration or another major!

4. Use your first two semesters to sample all that the college offers for classes and programs. Pick electives that fit your general degree requirements, but that also give you a taste of the academic offerings at the university. This lets you learn from different professors, and see how students in different majors interact with each other. This is just a great way to sample all that the academic side of your university has to offer!

5. Think about the clubs and organizations that you are attracted to and want to join; both on campus and out in the world. If you like the idea of College Democrats and the Debate Club, then maybe a major in Political Science will be great. If you want to do the Theatre productions and joined an a'capella group, then maybe a Theatre or Music major would be great for you! You want to study something that interests you and that you are going to love a career doing, so pick a major that fits well with those interests!

6. Take an interest and major quiz to get some ideas on where to focus your energy on classes! This one by Loyola University Chicago is really interesting because the academic programs that fit your responses grow as you answer more questions that fit that program. It's kind of difficult to explain, but it can give you some really great ideas on majors to pursue that you may not have thought of. When I did it, my largest majors were History, Education, Political Science, Journalism, and Public Relations. All of these are interesting in my mind and I had thought about majoring in all of them at one point, so I would say that for the most part it is pretty accurate!

Deciding on a major can be difficult and it takes some time to reflect on it, so don't make it an overnight choice! Are you debating on some majors or have a different way you picked yours, then add it in the comments below, I'd love to hear about it! Have a great week everyone!

enjoy the chase,

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Making the Most of your Snow Day - HS Edition!

Hi everyone! I hope your week is going well and you are getting excited for the weekend ... I know I am!! Now that we are in the thick of winter, a lot of students across the nation will be facing Snow Days in the coming weeks and what's important is to make the most out of those Snow Days. They should be both relaxing and productive, so I have devised a schedule for a perfect snow day for all you high school students!

8:30 - 9:30am - Wake up, make breakfast and get ready for the day! Obviously, everyone wants to sleep in the morning of a Snow Day, so sleeping until 8-8:30 allows you to get some extra rest, while still being able to make the day productive. Make sure you change out of your pj's too, otherwise you will just want to lounge around all day. While you're eating breakfast, take your time to peruse your Facebook and Instagram so that you can dedicate the rest of the day to your projects and being productive!

Take this time to follow us on Twitter @Chasing_College

9:30 - 11:00am - Work on homework! A typical teenager, when there's the threat of a big snow storm will hold off doing their homework in hopes of getting that day off. So, use this time to work on those last-minute readings, assignments, and projects! If you already completed all your homework and started some projects, then use this time to read a book or catch up on some other projects around the house (cleaning your room, doing laundry, shoveling the driveway, emptying the dishwasher ... etc.)

11:00am - 12:00pm - Complete any college or scholarship applications that you started! If you've yet to submit your college application, take this time to do that today! You won't be interrupted and you can focus on proofreading your essay and making sure all of your information is correct in a quiet house. If you've submitted your application, take this time to search for scholarships at the universities you are interested in and through private organizations. If you need to, start a generic essay about your college goals, plans for the money, and how you give back to your community! (These are common topics on scholarship applications). Use this as your Chasing College time!

Check out my blog post on finding scholarships!

12:00 - 1:00pm - Fix lunch and catch up on your shows! If you've been really productive, then you will want to take a break to eat your lunch and watch tv! Make something simple like a sandwich with chips, a salad, or a box of mac&cheese, then sit down at your computer or tv and catch up on your favorite tv shows, vlogs, or watch part of a movie. This will help you relax and take a breather from a productive and thought-provoking morning!

1:00 - 2:15pm -  Dedicate this time to your hobby! If you want to go for a run on the treadmill, play with your dogs outside, practice your dance routines, or shoot some hoops in your garage; use this time to do that! You want to be productive in a school sense on your Snow Days, but you also want to be productive in the other areas of your life that matter. If you like to paint or draw, you can do that during this time too. Dedicate it to something constructive that you love to do!

2:15 - 3:15pm - Clean up the house! If you are anything like my sister and I when we were younger, we waited until the very last second to clean the house and do up the dishes before our parents came home from work. So take this time to do up the dishes, put all of your stuff back into your bedroom, and tidy up the living room and kitchen. Have the radio playing in the background and it will help keep you motivated while doing those chores!

3:15pm - 4:30pm - Finish up any of your homework that still needs to be completed! Let's face it, a majority of us wouldn't get up until 11:00am anyways on a Snow Day, so use this time for catching up on your homework or any projects if you woke up late. If you need to finish up some projects or found a great scholarship with an upcoming deadline you want to work on, then devote this time to finishing up those assignments and projects! If you're feeling adventurous, you can also use this time to start dinner for your family by making the salad or a side dish to go along with the meal!

4:30pm - Bedtime - Spend the rest of the evening with your family! Treasure this time where you all are home and indoors. Suggest doing a game night after dinner to keep everyone inside and out of the cold. You may also want to volunteer to do dishes or to help your mom or dad with a project they are working on! No matter what though, use this time to be with your family and be in the moment. Share something exciting that happened to you today, like getting a head start on that big research paper or finding a great scholarship you want to apply to! They would love to hear how productive your Snow Day was!!

A Snow Day should be both relaxing and productive for you, so use your time wisely and don't waste it by watching a million re-runs of Keeping up with the Kardashians or something on Netflix! For those of you on the East Coast, there's a snow storm coming today and the rest of the weekend, so let's all hope for a Snow Day tomorrow! Have a great weekend everyone!

enjoy the chase,

Monday, January 18, 2016

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day everyone! This is not only a day off from school and classes, but it is more importantly a day to celebrate the life and legacy of a great civil rights leader! His sermons, writings, and speeches have greatly impacted this world and impacted all types of people in this world!

"It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Morehouse College Student Paper, 1947

Take some time today to reflect on the power of education and what all people have sacrificed over the years to gain one. Also take time to think about your education and on the education you want! Exactly as Dr. King says, "Education must enable ... the legitimate goals of his [or her] life." Reflect on your educational goals today, what you want to accomplish, what you want to learn; those easily and not so easily attainable! Find those dreams and use education to fuel them! 

enjoy the chase,

You can find his full article of "The Purpose of Education" here:

Friday, January 15, 2016

Book Review: Getting from College to Career

Hi everyone! So, this year one of my New Year's Resolutions is to read one non-school book a week. Because of this, I thought it would be a great addition to the blog to do Book Reviews on the books that I find and think would be useful or applicable to students and parents in the college search process and for college students who are looking for career help.

The first book I wanted to review is Getting from College to Career: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World by Lindsey Pollak and you can buy it here. I came across it through a search on Pinterest for professional development books for myself and I am so happy I got it. I read the whole thing in the middle of last semester in about a week. It is a quick, easy, and enjoyable read with lots of great information that I think anyone can benefit from, no matter where they are in their career search.

All of the chapters are broken up based on different aspects of the career search, from determining a career, to networking and marketing yourself, to preparing for interviews. This set up works really well because after you've read it through once, when you need pointers or suggestions on one aspect of the job search, you can go to that chapter in the book and find all you need! She also answers a lot of the questions on some etiquette things like professional e-mailing and how to dress for interviews, that vary by subject/topic.

Another amazing thing about the set up of the book and her writing is that she includes these sections called "Make this work for you." In this little section, she gives you a challenge to incorporate her suggestion into what you need for your career search. This is great because it gives you the chance to stop reading and reflect by thinking 'Okay, how am I going to make this work for me?' There are a lot of inspiring suggestions that can help you think about your search in a way you hadn't before.

Lindsey Pollak also offers really great starting points for all of her ideas and concepts. She lists in these sections different organizations you could contact, job and internship search websites, places where you can find mentors or extra experience ... it is difficult not to have many different ideas floating in your head as you read through the book.

Overall Review: I definitely recommend this book to anyone just starting their career search or anyone who is wanting to do more to help boost their career opportunities in the future. This would make a great gift to a new college graduate or to your career-minded high school student. This book is useful whether you have a technical degree, a two-year or four-year degree, or just have a high school education. For myself, I obviously know what I want to do with my career, but this book was still incredibly helpful with different ideas for networking and how I can incorporate the different experiences I've had over the years into my resume and cover letter. I think that not only does Lindsey Pollak give great suggestions and ideas, but she also provides really funny anecdotes and her own experiences to help make the book more real for the reader. Without a doubt, anyone can find something in this book that will be useful for them and their career journey!! Definitely go buy this book ... you won't regret it!

If you all have any suggestions on books that you have found helpful in your college or career search, I would love to hear about them; so comment below or tweet me and I will look into them! I hope you all have a great weekend!

enjoy the chase,

 Pollak, Lindsey. Getting from College to Career: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World. Revised ed. New York: Harper Business, 2012. Print. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"I Submitted my Application ... Now What?"

Hi everyone! Today I want to talk to you all about what you can do after your college application is submitted that will still make a positive impact on your future college career!

The #1 Myth about applying to college is that once you have submitted your college applications you are good to go ... WRONG! It is so important to stay motivated and continue working hard even into the Winter and Spring of your final year of high school. Colleges will still look at your performance in that last semester because you have to submit your final High School Transcript to them once you graduate. Don't slack off and screw up ... keep your momentum going!

One positive thing you can do after all of your applications are submitted is apply to scholarships! You can check out a "Wish I Knew Wednesday" post about scholarships here, but you should be concentrating on applying to scholarships too. IT'S FREE MONEY -- who doesn't want that? You can focus on one scholarship a week or do a few every other week, but the important thing is to keep looking for available scholarships online and through your High School Guidance Department!

Another way to productively use this time is by looking into different internship and job opportunities for the future. You can look for summer jobs for once May and June rolls around or you can search the classified ads or to see what jobs lie in the field you're interested in. This may help you in the future with deciding on a concentration within your major or possible just deciding on a major at all! Also, looking for internships can be incredibly helpful for your future-self. Chances are that an internship that is being promoted now will also be promoted and offered next year around this same time. Jot down the internships you find and try to apply to them next year or the year after. Check the criteria for the internship, but if grade or credit level doesn't matter, why not apply to it when you have the chance next year!

Visiting the campuses again in the Spring can be a good use of this time as well. Especially if you need to attend a formal interview for a scholarship, do a portfolio review, or even have an audition for your major. Most campuses offer visit opportunities through the Spring and even after decisions are sent out, they have Accepted Student Days for a in-depth look at life on campus. It may be necessary to wait until you receive your decision, but if you have the free time and its a nice weekend, why not visit one of your top choices!

Taking advantage of a potential career booster would be a great way to spend these first few months of the New Year! Look into opportunities in your high school or your community to work in your future major. If you're interested in studying Education, look into tutoring elementary students during your Study Hall; if you're interested in studying Hospitality, see if the local tourism bureau needs some help planning for a spring festival; if you're interested in studying Art, volunteer at a local art gallery every Saturday. All of these will give you great experience for your future profession. Also, if you are potentially wait-listed or the admissions committee needs to re-review your application, you showing them that you are very passionate about your potential career and that you are already taking initiative to be successful, may help positively sway their admissions decision for you.

Another positive option is to do something that takes you entirely out of your comfort zone. In about eight months you will be venturing off to college which will be such a new surrounding and experience for you. Because of that, acclimate yourself to doing new things and trying what the world has to offer. This could be joining a new club or sports team (even if it is just JV), taking a February/Spring Break trip that emphasizes rebuilding homes or reading 18th Century Russian Literature. Do things you wouldn't normally do and that will help expand your horizons past what you are familiar with. Think about attending a leadership conference or a daily Writing/Drawing campus at a local college. Once you get used to doing new things, your transition into college life will not be as difficult.

These are all just suggestions for making the next couple of months worthwhile in your chase for college. Don't forget to take some time for yourself and to assess how far you've come over the last three and a half years, but also try to do something that will benefit you in the future! If you need ideas or suggestions feel free to comment, e-mail or tweet me and I would be happy to give you some feedback! Have a great rest of the week everyone!

enjoy the chase,

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Keeping your New Year's Resolution in College

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic week and got a lot accomplished! Last week I posted about New Year's Resolutions and today I wanted to give you all some advice and some tricks on keeping your New Year's Resolutions even as you head back to college!

Keeping your New Year's Resolutions can be difficult no matter where you are in life, but once you enter back into the hustle and bustle of college life, you will feel that you don't have the same time to devote, as you did during Winter Break. Because of that, you have to make time for your resolutions and for your new goals! You have to make a conscious effort to apply to those scholarships, actively read for class, go to the gym, and attend workshops. The good news though is that once you get into a habit of doing these things it will become second-nature! Until then, here are some tricks on keeping your resolutions in focus!

+  Add a virtual post-it onto the desktop of your computer as a constant reminder of your resolutions. This will help keep your resolutions in mind as you work on schoolwork or browse your social media!

+  Give your resolutions a 'fun' aspect to help you get excited about them. If you're looking for scholarships to apply for, find one that allows you to be creative and do something out of your comfort zone, or if your resolution is to exercise more, find a new workout class or get a DVD to help solve the monotony of running on the treadmill. Natural law states that if you're excited about something you're more likely to do it, so find a way to get excited about your resolution!

+  Make your resolutions with a friend to help keep you accountable. Working along with someone to meet your New Year's goals can be really positive. You both can work on it together and remind each other of your goals!

+ Setting a reminder on your phone can help you keep your resolution in mind! This is something really simple that you can do directly in your cell phone, or if your Google account is synced to your phone, you can set a reminder on Google Calendar. Then, when you're sitting around watching TV, you can be reminded of your resolutions!!

+  Incorporate your new goals/resolutions into your planner or your daily schedule. If you add it into your daily schedule and you purposely set an assigned time to devote to going to the gym or to reading for fun, then you have no excuse to say that you don't have time. This will also help it become second-nature.

+  Create an inspirational board to keep you motivated throughout the rest of the Winter and into Spring! You can make one by cutting out pictures and pasting them to a poster board, you can make a board on Pinterest, or you can make an electronic inspirational board and then apply it as the background on your computer.

+  Find an on-campus club that matches your resolution!  Whether you want to get fit, learn a new language, or gain more career experience, you can find a club that promotes the ideals of your resolution. This can not only help you achieve your goals and incorporate them more into your daily lifestyle, but it can also connect you with more like-minded people!

As someone who has tried to keep my New Year's Resolutions for the past 6 years, I know how difficult it can be doing so in college. All of these tips have worked well for me the past two years, so hopefully they will work well for you too! Remember though, this year is all about removing the negative and adding the positive!! Have a great weekend everyone!

enjoy the chase,

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tips for Filing the FAFSA

Hi everyone! Starting January 1st, you have been able to file your FAFSA eligibility, so I wanted to give you all my pointers on filling it out! Here is the web address: and you just click on "Start a New FAFSA."

Now, I am not the best resource for filling out the FAFSA, I was incredibly lucky and my dad helped me the past 6 years to complete the FAFSA, so he's more of an expert than I am, but I thought I would give you my hints and tricks for making a somewhat stressful thing a little easier. Once you get the hang of it though, it is pretty easy and self-explanatory.

1. Make sure you have your parents' and your W-2 forms from your employers. All of the financial information is for the previous year, so if you are filling it out now or this month, you will want tax information from 2015. This makes it easier to fill out the financial information that is needed, such as taxable income and salary information. What's great is the FAFSA form tells you what lines on the W-2 the information can be found ... such a time-saver!!

2. Put all of the colleges/universities you plan on applying to on your FAFSA. In case your college enrollment plans change, this makes sure that all of the universities you are applying to have the financial information they need. This way, if you change your mind half way through the summer, the university still has all the financial information to create a financial aid packet for you!

3. If you have a specific question about the FAFSA form, then you can reach out to your university's Financial Aid office or you can call your state's department of education. I would suggest calling the university's Financial Aid office because they can give you more specifics on what they expect, what they need, and ways to handle different problems that arise.

4. When you create your account for the first time, make sure you write down everything for getting into your account. Since you only use it maybe three times a year, you will want to know all of the passwords, PINs, and hint questions in case something goes weird when you log in next. **Keep a folder/notebook dedicated chiefly to your Financial Aid letters and loan application paperwork.

This is my Financial  Aid notebook that I have used for undergrad and grad school! The booklet was given to us at my High School's Financial Aid Night and then we just used it continuously throughout the entirety of my schooling. I also keep all of my financial aid package information from undergrad in there, as well as, the information about my federal and private loans that I have.

5. If you think you have unusual circumstances that cannot be explained on the FAFSA, then set up an appointment to meet with the university's Financial Aid Office. If you can explain things like extra medical expenses or a parent's job loss, then it may help with the financial outcome for that university. At least it can't hurt you, if you talk with them!

6. Once you receive your financial aid packet, if you are unhappy with the end result, you can appeal it to the university. Each college has a different procedure and process, but most have this option. If they really want you at their institution, they will work hard to find some extra money or may give you a work study opportunity to help off-set the cost of tuition.


This is from FAFSA and if you've not attended a Financial Aid workshop at your high school, you'll want to read over it to get a better understanding of all the intriquate parts. 

Estrella Mountain Community College has a really great article on tips and common mistakes that studens make when they complete their FAFSA. This is a great resource and I would read through it first before completing your FAFSA.

If your parents are divorced or you have a unique family arrangement, then you will want to check out these guidelines for completing the FAFSA. It includes which set of parents to use, if they remarried, and how to include specific financials, like child support money. 

I hope this has helped you all just a little bit with filling out your FAFSA. Like I said, I am not an expert, by no means, but these tips will make the process just a little bit easier!

enjoy the chase,

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Mid-Year Transition

Hi everyone and Happy Monday! It's back to work and back to school for a majority of us. Most colleges and universities don't start the new semester for another week or two, but if you are transferring or just starting at a university this January, your transition is going to be a little different than if you were starting in the Fall semester. If you're still wondering if you should transfer out of a university, then check out this post from a few weeks ago! Because a good transition is crucial for your success at a new college, I thought I would share my tips with you all on making this semester the best one yet!

  • Attend Transfer Orientation - This is most likely mandatory for all students who are starting during the Winter/Spring semester; even if it is optional, you should still go. You will be able to meet other transfer students in a less intense environment, as well as, meet with and talk to college administrators about the resources available to transfer students on campus. They may also share information with you about different events going on in the coming weeks to help you get to know more students!
  • Join some clubs - This can have a HUGE impact on your transition into a new college. You are very easily able to meet more people who share the same interests as you and who can help acclimate you to the college culture too. Clubs will not only have their weekly meetings, but they will also host on-going events throughout the semester which will help your social circle grow! I'd suggest joining two clubs to start off with. One that is a hobby and another that is either academic or social. This will help double your opportunity to make friends and help smooth your transition on campus. 
  • Attend Residence Hall meetings - Your first resource on campus will always be your RA and your Residence Hall Director. They have the training to be able to help you with your transition and guide you to the areas on campus that you need. The Transfer Orientation will have more limited information, as compared to a Fall Freshmen Orientation, so your RA and RD can help you navigate campus and get the resources you need ( e.g. Campus Ministry, Health Services, Work Study ... etc.) Also, you will be able to meet the people on your floor during these meetings and they can be a great resource for helping you get to know the campus and make new connections.
  • Work with study groups - There's a chance that you will be entering an academic program in the middle of a sequence, so you'll want to work with your classmates to get caught up on the teaching styles and expectations of your professors, content you may have missed at your other university, and other academic opportunities on campus. You will be adjusting to a lot, while jumping right into classes, so working with students in your major will help you ease your academic transition. It also doesn't ever hurt to have a study group to prepare for quizzes and tests!
  • Go to sporting events - Because why not! It'll help your spirit for the university grow! You can go to any sporting event and choose to sit in the student section. Most likely you will get in for a great discount if not for free if you sit in the student section. The energy will be electric and you'll get to bond with your fellow collegiates when your team wins! 
  • Meet with your professors - Visit your professors when they have posted Office Hours to get to know them and to know more about the major that you're in. You can use this time to clarify program requirements and even set up a time table. If they'd rather you schedule a meeting with them, you can do that too. This is just so that you can get to know them a little better, as you are lacking that first semester of having them as your professor. They may also be able to offer some advice on catching up with material or general hints on being successful in your program!
For those of you who are transferring or took a semester or two or three off and are trying to get back into the swing of things, these tips should help ease your transition onto campus!  Most importantly, just spend your time trying to integrate yourself into campus life, both through creating a social and an academic circle! 

I hope for those of you who are transferring, you do have a great transition! Also, just a reminder I will be doing a Q&A session in a few weeks to answer any questions you all have, so please send those to me through a comment below, a tweet or you can e-mail them directly to me! Have a great week everyone!!

enjoy the chase,

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Resolutions

Hi everyone and Happy New Year!! 2015 is behind us and we can now look towards all of the great success we will achieve in 2016! Today, I am sharing with you all some great New Year's Resolutions ideas for anyone who is Chasing College! 

First and foremost, let's make 2016 the year where we 
Remove the negative and add the positive !!

You will become a happier and more successful person and student if you consistently work towards adding positive things to your daily routine, your thought processes, and just your general actions towards the world! Here are some resolutions that everyone can get behind in 2016!

1. Apply to One Scholarship Each Week - We could all use some extra money in the new year, so spend one day each week applying to a scholarship that you qualify for! You can spend a few hours organizing your application and essay to make sure that you have the best possible chance of winning the money! I would pick one day and designate that as scholarship day so that you can get into a routine of applying for scholarships each week on that day! This goes for anyone whose chasing college!

2. Seek College/Career Advice - Have genuine conversations with your teachers, coaches, parents, grandparents, and family friends about their college and career advice. Even if it is just talking to them about their experiences or their career journey can be beneficial to you! So, dedicate time and attention throughout 2016 to hearing others' stories and advice that they have for you. 

3. Spend 30 Minutes Doing Something you Love - Mental health is just as important as physical health, so while everyone is resolving to spend 30 minutes a day exercising, you should spend 30 minutes each day doing something you love! This could be exercising, playing a sport, crafting, reading a book for fun, dancing, baking, or catching up on your favorite tv show. No matter what though, this should be something that renews your mind and gives you energy to get your school work done! 

4. Remove Negative People - This is a huge part of the theme: "Remove the negative and add the positive." Having negative people around you can be the huge factor in a great year or a not-so great year, so be sure to surround yourself with the right people who are going to bring positive and supportive energy to you. Now, I realize in high school, you can't always remove those negative people since you most likely go to school with them, but you can try to distance yourself from them and that will help tremendously. 

5. Follow People who Inspire You - Follow people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube who inspire you in your career goals, your personal life, or in your faith. They don't always have to have direct coordination to your life goals, but following people who are successful and who you can look to for potential future successes can help make 2016 a great year for your career and personal goals! 

6. Attend a Workshop that Interests You - Another way to help you have a great year career and college-wise is through attending a workshop, seminar, conference, or summer camp that interests you. This could be a photography workshop or a basket-weaving class, a seminar on creating wedding up-dos, or attending a Physics Conference. If you are young and still in high school, apply to a summer week-long camp in an academic program that interests you: architecture, writing, dance, or business. This can give you a jumpstart on your career and college search and it may also give you an edge for your college application in a few years!

7. Keep Your Head Up - You have 365 days to accomplish everything you want to this year: get into college, gain acceptance to law school, move away from home, become published, work at an internship, teach a class, and so much more. You will face adversity this year, but keep your head up and know that your chase for college is worth it and will bring you so much success in your years to come!

Here's to a great start to a great year everyone!!

enjoy the chase,